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Submission + - Fire retardants: ineffective, possibly dangerous, pushed by Big Tobacco (chicagotribune.com)

dalosla writes: The Chicago Tribune has a 4 part series on flame retardants in furniture. Their widespread use started when tobacco companies pushed the use of flame retardants to divert pressure from developing a safer cigarette, one less prone to starting fires. They secretly funded organizations that would support their goals, and one of their consultants helped create the National Association of State Fire Marshals. He influenced the organization's agenda while hiding his connections to the tobacco industry. These days, chemical companies that sell flame retardants have taken over the roll of advocating continued use flame retardants. However, flame retardants in furniture foam don't stop fires the real world, where upholstery readily ignites, and they might contribute to serious health problems. This appears to be yet another case of corporations secretly and not so secretly bending public policy to support themselves, even if it is to the detriment of the general public.

Part 1 came out Monday, and part 2 came out today, so stay tuned for the rest. It seems like every week the Tribune has a new front-page story on some political or corporate outrage. Too bad they have so much material to choose from. It makes me appreciate once again the roll of an independent press. Support your local investigative reporter!

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Fire retardants: ineffective, possibly dangerous, pushed by Big Tobacco

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